Tamami Iinuma Solo Exhibition

“Japan in der DDR - Gestohlene Erinnerungen wurden erneut zerstört”




Saturday, November 9th, 2019   19:15-20:00



2-7-5-5F, Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031

Tel: +81 3 5843 9128



Saturday, November 9th, 2019 - Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Tuesdays through Fridays, 13:00-20:00

Saturdays, 12:00-19:00 (closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National Holidays)

*Open for shortened hours on December 7th (Sat) [12:00-17:00]


German Embassy Tokyo

Goethe-Institut JAPAN


“Reality of History: The Coincidence and Inevitability of Germany Seen from a Japanese Perspective”

Date & Time:     Saturday, November 9th, 2019    18:00-19:15 (doors 17:50)

Speakers:              Nowaki Fukamidori (novelist) × Tamami Iinuma (artist)

Venue:                   KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY

Capacity:              40 guests (25 seats available)

Admission:           free with reservation, 500 JPY at door without reservation


*Kindly note the talk will be held in Japanese language only. 

Unter den Linden, Mitte

from the series  JAPAN IN DER DDR - Gestohlene Erinnerungen wurden erneut zerstört

2016 | type c print | 178 × 126 mm | ©︎ Tamami Iinuma, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY is pleased to announce the opening of Tamami Iinuma’s solo exhibition, Japan in der DDR - Gestohlene Erinnerungen wurden erneut zerstört, from Saturday, November 9th. The opening of this exhibition will take place on the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall that occurred on November 9th of 1989.


Based in Leptich, Paris, and Tokyo, Iinuma has been exhibiting her works around the media of architecture, photography, and publications, by logically constructing their relationships among each other and combining the artist’s own physicality.  This exhibition will commemorate the launch of her latest publication, Japan in der DDR and will specially feature the fourth chapter of the book, Gestohlene Erinnerungen wurden erneut zerstört (The memory that was deleted twice)


In 2014, while Iinuma was in her doctoral course at Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School, she found out the Japanese construction company Kajima Corporation constructed three hotels built in the cities of Leptich, Dresden, and Berlin. During the process of interviewing the related people and researching various archives, Iinuma found out there was a theft that happened in the construction company’s office on January 12th, 1979. The stolen objects of this incident were Deutschmark cash, and a film inside a 35mm film camera. The camera itself was oddly left inside the broken safety box.


Inspired from this strange incident, Iinuma decided to retrieve the stolen memory and went to photo shoot the area of the Grand Hotel Berlin with her Contax T3, 35mm film camera. After she returned back to Tokyo, she brought the film to her photo laboratory and picked it up the next day, however, learned that her images were deleted white by the damage caused to the film that attributed to the improper maintenance of the developing machine. These two incidents may appear as coincidental occurrences at first sight, but looking carefully, the first occasion was probably by a Stasi spy when noticing the historical background at the time, and the second occasion was a man-made accident. The memory did not naturally disappear but was literally deleted twice.


The 1979 theft in Deutsche Demokratische Republik, and the 2016 accident in a laboratory in Tokyo. Investigating these two strange incidents in this exhibition Japan in der DDR - Gestohlene Erinnerungen wurden erneut zerstört (The memory that was deleted twice), we sincerely look forward to showcasing the attempt by Iinuma to retrieve back the deleted memory.

Artist Statement

The Memory That Was Deleted Twice


On the 12th of January, 1979, a thief burgled into the construction office of Kajima Corporation. The objects that were stolen were not only Deutschmark cash but also a 35mm film of Mr. Sako, a colleague of Mr. Shimazu. What strange was that the camera itself was left inside the safety box was broke open. The incident was reported to the police, however, the stolen objects never came back. 

On the 30th of May, 2016, I thought of retrieving back the stolen memory and walked around the Berlin Grand Hotel taking snapshots with my 35mm film camera, Contax T3. I felt something very positive. Excitedly, I returned back to Tokyo and took the film to the photo laboratory. 

As I went to pick up the film the following day, my film was damaged and was almost all white. I was explained that there was a small screw that had fallen off the developing machine, which made the machine incompletely sealed and that my film was partially exposed. Furthermore, I was explained that the screw fell inside the machine, and had damaged the film itself. 

——Tamami Iinuma

Artist Profile

Tamami Iinuma was born in Tokyo in 1983. She completed her D.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School in 2018. Iinuma is currently based in Tokyo, Leipzig and Paris. Her major solo exhibitions include momentary architecture (2018, Pola Museum Atrium Gallery, Kanagawa, Japan), House of Architecture (2017, Roppongi Hills Club, Tokyo, Japan), The 3rd Architecture - book, maison and forest (2016, POST, Tokyo, Japan), JAPAN IN DER DDR (2016, Motto Berlin, Germany), JAPAN IN DER DDR-Berlin, Mitte (2015, Studio Thibaut de Ruyter, Berlin, Germany), and FROM LE CORBUSIER TO MAEKAWA (2015, Nikon Salon Tokyo and Osaka, Japan). Group exhibitions include Von Ferne. Bilder zur DDR (2019, Museum Villa Stuck Munich, Germany), Requiem for a Failed State (2018, Halle 14, Leipzig, Germany), Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox 1989-2017 (2017, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria), and 3 days exhibition (2017, Sezon Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan). Her monographs include House of Architecture (2016, published by limArt), Landscape in Modern Architecture (2013, self-publishing), and Salute, Mr.Bruno Taut (2014, self-publishing). Her latest monograph JAPAN IN DER DDR (self-publishing) will be newly released in 2019.